Having a normal lifestyle can be nearly impossible when you're suffering from intense migraines: your head pulsates and throbs like there's a little man with a jackhammer drilling your eye out from within its socket. This can make it difficult to concentrate on your job, perform routine tasks and enjoy social interactions. Read on for some tips to find relief from menopausal migraines.
What's behind your Menopausal Migraines?
While migraines have many triggers, hormones are one of the leading causes in menopausal women. During menopause, the body drastically reduces production of essential hormones like estrogen and progesterone, which can spur migraines.
“Menstrual migraines,” which flare up in the first few days of menstruation and taper off as your period continues, are also caused by these hormones.
Have a Cup of Coffee
Caffeine can help get rid of your migraine in some cases. Women who have a cup of coffee a day often find that skipping it can lead to headaches and migraines, sio getting their fix can relieve their migraines. However, in other cases caffeine can actually worsen it, as well as increasing severity of other menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness.
Eat Estrogen-Boosting Foods
Migraines caused by menopause should be treated at their source: hormonal imbalances. Eating foods that are rich in phytoestrogens can help combat menopausal migraines by restoring normal hormone balance in the body. The list of estrogen-boosting foods includes:
Soy tops the list of estrogen-boosting foods because the soy plant contains phytoestrogens, plant-based estrogenic compounds that mimic the effects of estrogen when introduced into the body. Thus phytoestrogens help to combat menopausal symptoms by restoring hormone balance.
Reduce Stress with Exercise
You don't have to run a marathon to reduce the frequency of your menopausal migraines. Instead, consider practicing Pilates or yoga, which focus more on flexibility and breathing rather getting your heart rate pumping. These exercises help to improve blood circulation and put your mind at ease.
It should go without saying that exercise should be used as a preventative measure. If you have a very severe migraine, it's not advisable to engage in strenuous exercise.
Most doctors recommend making changes to lifestyle and diet like the ones listed above before considering herbal remedies or pharmaceutical options to treat menopausal migraines caused by hormone imbalances. Click here to continue reading about treatments for menopausal migraines.
- Dr. Lichten, Edward. "Menopausal migraine: The Role of Hormonal Replacement." The Menopausal Syndrome. Scottsdale, Arizona January 27, 1990. Reid-Rowell, Inc. Pages 21-24
- Mayo Clinic.(n.d)."Migraines." Retrieved from www.mayoclinic.com.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.(n.d)."Migraines".Retrieved from www.womenshealth.gov.